Ainkurunuru (Tamil: ஐங்குறுநூறு, Aiṅkuṟunūṟu ?) a classical Tamil poetic work containing five hundred short poems, and is part of Ettuthokai, an anthology of Sangam literature. The poems in this book were written by five authors and were compiled by Kudalur Kizhar at the behest of Chera King Yanaikkatcey Mantaran Ceral Irumporai.
Character of the poems
- Poem 255:
- குன்றக் குறவன் காதல் மடமகள்
- வரையர மகளிர்ப் புரையுஞ் சாயலள்
- ஐயள் அரும்பிய முலையள்
- செய்ய வாயினள் மார்பினள் சுணங்கே.
- Kuṉṟak kuṟavaṉ kātal maṭamakaḷ
- Varaiyara makaḷirp puraiyuñ cāyalaḷ
- Aiyaḷ arumpiya mulaiyaḷ
- Ceyya vāyiṉaḷ mārpiṉaḷ cuṇaṅkē
- The loving young daughter
- of the hill man
- is as beautiful
- as a mountain goddess.
- She is gorgeous
- with her sprouting breasts,
- her reddened lips,
- and her mottled chest.
This book comes under the Agam (subjective) category in its subject matter. Ancient Tamil poems was categorised into the broad categories of Agam(அகம்) - subjective, dealing with matters of the heart and human emotions, and Puram (புறம்) - objective, dealing with the tangibles of life such as war, politics, wealth, etc. The poems of this anthology are of the Akaval meter.
These poems deal with the various aspects of the courtship between the hero and the heroine. The poems are set in various landscapes (Thinai - திணை) depending on the mood of the poem. The poem shown as the example in this article is of the Kurinci thinai (mountainous region). The subject matter of the poem deals with the hero speaking about his union with his lover.
The work is divided into five sections, each with its own author:
- Marutam - 100 poems on jealous quarrelling, by Ōrampōkiyār
- Neytal - 100 poems on lamenting the lover's absence, by Ammuvaṉār
- Kuṟiñci - 100 poems on union of lovers, by Kapilar
- Pālai - 100 poems on separation, by Otalānraiyār
- Mullai - 100 poems on patient waiting for the lover's return, by Pēyaṉār
The invocation song at the start of the anthology was written by Perunthevanaar, who translated the Mahabharatham into Tamil.
- Selby, Martha Ann. Tamil Love Poetry: The Five Hundred Short Poems of the Aiṅkuṟunūṟu, an Early Third-Century Anthology. Columbia University Press, 2011. ISBN 9780231150651. pp105-106
- Selby 2011, vii
- Mudaliyar, Singaravelu A., Apithana Cintamani, An encyclopaedia of Tamil Literature, (1931) - Reprinted by Asian Educational Services, New Delhi (1983)
- Aingurunuru of kudalur kizhar, Project Madurai